First Timer's Guide To Fukuoka, Japan
8 Mar 2019
Slowly gaining more popular over the years, you can find Fukuoka on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island. Said to be a great introduction to Kyushu, Fukuoka also happens to be the region’s largest city. Welcoming, sunny and charming, keep reading to find out the best things to do and eat when you’re there!
Klook activities in Fukuoka
Inclusive of: Kimono or Yukata rental
Not inclusive of: Hair styling
Things to do in Fukuoka
One of Fukuoka’s largest shopping and entertainment hubs, Canal City Hakata offers plenty of things to do! Built to look like canal and boasted as a ‘city within the city’, it’s great for shopping and dining, as well as being entertained. In fact, you can find two hotels in that area.
Spend the day in childlike wonder at the game centre, catch a movie at the theatre, relax in a cafe and more at Canal City Hakata. There’s also a fountain show at the center of the canal, and it’s especially beautiful during the night.
Once the largest castle in Kyushu, what remains of the Fukuoka Castle is a popular attraction in the heart of the city. While only remaining parts of the walls and a few towers, it’s especially crowded during springtime as it’s a top hanami spot in the city.
Also known as Maizuru Castle, it’s surrounded by a park of the same name. With walking trails and lookout points, Maizuru Park is home to lush foliage and over a thousand sakura trees. Besides that, a short walk away is another popular park, Ohori Park!
One of the most beautiful parks in Japan, Ohori Park is registered as an official Place of Scenic Beauty. It’s perfect for a day of picnic, a relaxing stroll, or simply basking in the serene atmosphere. Beautiful at every change of season, it’s a must-visit spot!
Adjacent to the park is the Ohori Koen Japanese Garden, which offers visitors a sight of the traditional beauty of a Japanese garden. From the waters flowing around the lake, tea rooms taking shade in the outdoor gardens, and more, it’s easy to find your zen there!
One of the most important Tenmangu Shrines in Japan, Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine located in Hakata is spread across 3,000 acres. Closely associated with a Shinto deity of education, this shrine is popular amongst students, especially before the exam period!
After passing the torii gate at the entrance, you will come across a pond and path leading to a couple of arched bridges. Feel free to explore the expanse of the shrine like the main hall, Dazaifu Tenmangu Museum and more. Lookout for English pamphlets if you want to dive deeper into the history and meaning of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine!
A popular spot in Fukuoka for flower viewing, the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is a family-friendly public park where you can stroll around, explore via the cycling trails, or simply sit beneath the trees for a picnic.
On any day, you can find many visitors and locals alike at the park. During springtime, you can also find the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park surrounded by the elusive cherry blossom trees. When in full bloom, you can also witness a beautiful sakura tunnel!
Nestled between Naka River and Hakata River, Nakasu is an island in the heart of Fukuoka. Known as Fukuoka’s popular nightlife scene, this entertainment hub is packed with lively nightclubs, izakayas, karaoke spots and more after sundown. A must-try is to grab a bite to eat at one of the many yatai food stalls along the stretch by the Naka River.
If you’re not a night owl, Nakasu during the day is just as exciting. Home to an old school shopping arcade, it’s a stark contrast from the nighttime activities! Browse through the numerous traditional Japanese goods, clothing, art, sweets and more.
Must-try specialty dishes in Fukuoka
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A local Fukuoka dish, motsunabe is a hot pot dish consisting of beef or pork tripe with cabbage, leek, bean sprouts and other vegetables in a soup flavoured with soy sauce and/or miso. Boiling and cooked at the table, it’s best served with rice!
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The city of Hakata in Fukuoka is the birthplace of the rich and mouth-watering tonkotsu ramen, also known as Hakata ramen. With its milky-white pork bone broth paired with handmade noodles, a generous helping of pork slices and topped with various condiments, this addictive bowl of ramen is absolutely life-changing!
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A condiment that you can easily find everywhere in Fukuoka, mentaiko is the spicy version of salted cod roe, tarako. Sometimes accompanied with a bowl of rice, topped as a seasoning in certain dishes or used as filling for rice balls, mentaiko is as versatile as it comes. It’s also a popular souvenir that many visitors like to bring home with them!